North Wales is the UK’s leading adventure destination so if you’re looking for new experiences to try it would be natural for you to think of the region for learning a new watersport or mountaineering skill, but there are also some wonderful art and craft workshops just waiting to be discovered, and maybe even fall in love with so you turn it into a new hobby:
Skiing or Snowboarding
Llandudno Snowsports Centre is on the Great Orme and with a Permasnow slope it offers tuition in Skiing and Snowboarding. You can start off with an introductory one hour Ski or Snowboarding taster before developing your skills with additional group lessons which will having you skiing or Snowboarding down the mountain in no time! The Centre also offers private lessons and family group lessons.
We admit that owning a plane doesn’t fit with most people’s budget but for an experience it has to be top of the list! Caernarfon Airport provides flying lessons which are either 30 minute or 60 minute sessions which includes a briefing and the introductory exercises towards the private pilot’s licence and at the end you’ll receive a certificate of achievement which includes a record of your flight.
Whether you want to scale a mountain rock climbing or descend the craggy peaks abseiling, the Snowdonia Mountain Range couldn’t be a better place to learn. Snowdonia Adventure Activities offers lessons in both and with a minimum age of 4 this is another activity all the family can learn together.
Adults and Children from the age of 4 can learn to ride at Anglesey Riding Centre and even if you’ve never been on a horse before you can enjoy the spectacular North Wales scenery on a lead reign ride on the Centre’s 5 miles of purpose built private bridleways along the coast. They recommend a 30-minute session to start off with before moving on to longer lessons which are normally held in either their large indoor arena or large outdoor all weather arena. They also offer a “half and half” which is a half hour lesson followed by a half hour hack which gives you the chance to put your new found skills into practice!
Candle Making Workshops
Spark off your creativity with a Candle Making Workshop at The Candle Alchemist on Anglesey. They have hands-on beginner workshops where you can choose from a range of fragrances and dyes to create your own unique candle to take home with you. You’ll learn about the different types of wax, wicks and fragrances and use three different techniques and all workshops include materials, equipment and expert tuition. Once you’ve mastered the beginners workshop you can progress to the Intermediate level or have some more fun in the Cupcake and Teacup Candle Making Class.
If the last time you picked up a paintbrush was at school but you fancy having another go, then Bodnant Art Studio in the Conwy Valley is the perfect place to learn. The Studio is the creative home of professional pastel artist and author Paul Pigram and there are regular Workshops in Pastels, Watercolours, Textile Art and Silk Painting for both beginners and more advanced students with all materials supplied.
They also run Ceramic Workshops where you choose your favourite building and turn it into a slab built candle lantern using terracotta clay. The finished piece is taken away for firing so it will take 3-4 weeks before you’re able to shine a light on your work of art!
Patchwork and Quilting
Patchwork and quilting are crafts that have been in existence for centuries and although closely linked they are different. Patchwork’s distinct history is through using up scraps of fabric to create a flat design while quilting involves adding a layer of padding in between which is then held together by lines of stitching which are based on a pattern or a design. Over the years they have been used for clothing and bedding, and textile artist Dorothy Russell offers tailored workshops and courses in both at Llandygai Village outside Bangor.
The Surf Academy at Surf Snowdonia offers 90 minute lessons which promise to get you riding the waves in just one lesson! The size of six football fields, Surf Snowdonia has the longest man-made surfable waves in the world and as well as teaching beginners, the Academy also runs lessons for intermediate and advanced surfers. Board hire is included in the beginner lessons but if you’re an intermediate or advanced surfer you can bring your own board or they’re available to hire as are wetsuits.
There are many places across North Wales where you can learn to sail or enjoy a taster session. Once you’ve learnt the basics including sailing up and down and across the wind as well as learning how to recover from a capsize you can then progress on to rigging, launching and even gaining the necessary qualification to hire or a charter your own boat. Llandudno Sailing Club has a variety of sailing courses for adults and children which are open to non-members or there’s Colwyn Bay Watersports Centre or Plas Menai at Felinheli which is an officially recognised Royal Yachting Association centre.
KiteSurfing is a combination of wakeboarding, snowboarding, windsurfing, surfing, paragliding, skateboarding and sailing so it’s not only action-packed but classed as an extreme sport. Head over to FunSport in Rhosneigr for a lesson which range from one hour to five hours on a one to one basis or in a group.
There's plenty more to discover in North Wales so if you're looking for a family holiday, some adventure or want to know more about Wales' Heritage, visit The Imperial Hotel's blog.